How To Reformat Hard Drive

For step-by-step instructions on how to format Windows computers, click here.

Reformatting your hard drive can be helpful to remove personal information on your computer. Some viruses can be removed by reformatting the hard drive when anti-virus software can't. Even though reformatting the hard drive helps, it does not remove all of the data that is stored on the hard drive. The Department of Defense has made standards for securely removing data and they exclude reformatting the hard drive.

Reformat The Hard Drive: Why Would I Format

Reformatting the hard drive could give you a quick fix to some problems that occur on the computer. The problem with formatting the hard drive is not all information will be cleaned. It leaves many traces that are easily recoverable. For example, RecoverMyFiles is a program that can recover data after a hard drive has been reformatted. To put it simply, the data is recoverable after a format.

Wipe and erasing hard drive data before you sell, donate, or discard your computer. Don't give away your personal information with your old PC. If you do not wipe and erase hard drive data before selling or donating your computer, your personal identity or company trade secrets could be stolen.

The data is so likely to be recovered that the Department of Defense has issued some standards for reformatting the hard drive. One important standard they have issued sets up a program that will write over all of the data that is on the hard drive, even blank information. Not only do they require it to be overwritten, they require a program to make 3 passes over the hard drive. WipeDrive is the best program that follows these standards when reformatting the hard drive.

Reformat The Hard Drive: Formatting Tips

Before you format your hard you need some tips. Reformatting the hard drive will remove all information if you use Wipe Drive to format. If there are any problems that occur during the formatting of the hard drive, start over to ensure your hard drive has been formatted.

Reformat The Hard Drive: Preparation

Things Needed:

There are several thing you need before reformatting the hard drive. Your operating system will be overwritten and having the install disk handy will let you to reinstall the program after you are finished.

You should also have a backup boot disk in case you have an early termination of formatting the hard drive. Another important thing to have are all of the product keys to your software so you can reinstall them on the clean drive.


Create a backup disk of the important information. Any files, web history, favorites, ect. will be destroyed. Wipe drive will make three overwriting passes and you will not be able to retrieve this information back.

Also keep in mind that not all of the information will be removed. RecoverMyFiles is a program that can extract information from the hard drive even after it has been formatted manually using the operating system.

Reformat The Hard Drive: Why Go With Software

Software can reformat the hard drive faster and give you more reassurance that the data has been wiped clean. WipeDrive has wiped over 20 million hard drives. It is approved by the Department of Defense and it is trusted by many government agencies and major corporations. WipeDrive is an approved compliance wipe disk tool for HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, The Patriot Act, Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, and others.

You cannot risk not properly wiping & erasing your hard drive before selling or donating it. WipeDrive has been trusted and used by the US Department of Defense for more than eight years. We guarantee it will wipe & erase your hard drive, too, and our technical support team is there if you need help to wipe & erase your hard drive.